Who is Rob Page? Ex-Sheffield Utd defender set to lead Wales into World Cup after Ryan Giggs decision

The former Sheffield United defender is set to take over from Giggs on a more permanent basis.

Tuesday, 21st June 2022, 1:41 pm

Rob Page is set to lead Wales into this winter’s Qatari World Cup following Ryan Giggs’ announcement that he will be stepping down from his role as head coach.

The former Manchester United winger has been absent from the dugout since November 2020, and is set to go on trial in August following allegations of domestic violence.

Giggs is accused of controlling and coercive behaviour against former girlfriend Kate Greville, as well as being accused of assaulting Ms Greville and her younger sister, Emma Greville, at his home in Worsley, Greater Manchester in late 2020.

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The 48-year-old has denied the allegations and pleaded not guilty to all charges, but has still taken the decision to resign from his role as Wales boss.

Page will now assume the job heading into the World Cup, having masterminded a first qualification for his country since 1958 during his stint as caretaker.

Here’s everything you need to know about the 47-year-old.

Who is Rob Page?

Born in Llwynypia, Wales, Page started his professional career in football at Watford in 1993.

After eight years with the Hornets, during which he captained the club to two promotions, he moved to Sheffield United, and would go on to make over 100 appearances for the Blades.

In 2004, the defender left Bramall Lane to join Cardiff City on a free transfer, before signing for Coventry City on another Bosman seven months later.

Towards the end of his playing career, Page would feature for Huddersfield Town and Chesterfield, eventually hanging up his boots in 2011.

Over the course of his professional career, he amassed over 550 appearances across the EFL and Premier League, scoring and captaining a side in each of the top four divisions of English football.

Page also won 41 senior caps for Wales, and wore the captain’s armband on one occasion.

The 47-year-old’s first foray into management came at Port Vale, where he had previously worked as an academy boss and assistant coach.

Between September 2014 and June 2016, Page took charge of nearly 100 matches for the Valiants before being offered a role as manager of Northampton Town.

Despite signing a three-year contract, his stint at Sixfields lasted just over six months before he was sacked.

A subsequent assistant role at Nottingham Forest was followed by spells in charge of various age groups in Wales’ international youth setup, after which he was offered a job as Giggs’ number two in August 2019.

Page assumed managerial duties on a caretaker basis the following year.

What has Page’s record with Wales been so far?

As things stand, Page has taken charge of 26 matches as Wales boss, winning 10, drawing nine, and losing seven.

In total, he has averaged 1.5 points per match - a tally which has only been bettered by Giggs in recent years.

Page led Wales into last year’s delayed Euro 2020 tournament, guiding them to the Round of 16 before they were knocked out by Denmark.

By far his most illustrious achievement to date, however, was securing a first World Cup finals spot since 1958 following a recent play-off victory over Ukraine.

Welsh talisman Gareth Bale recently threw his backing behind Page’s tenure as manager, hailing his relationship with both players and supporters.

He said: “I think he is the long-term manager. I don’t think there is any question in the changing room or from the fans.

“He’s done an incredible job coming in, in difficult circumstances. Everyone with him has a great relationship.

“I guess that’s why you achieve big things when your team is happy and your manager is doing well.”